General Question

XrayGirl's avatar

How do you (personally) buy a car?

Asked by XrayGirl (529 points ) September 9th, 2008

what is YOUR routine when it is time for you to buy a car? What do you do and in what order?

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30 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

First I agonize. Then I stand at our post office and look at the various cars there (mostly Subaru Foresters and Outbacks).Then I go to our town with its one Main St. and look at all the cars parked there (mainly Subaru Foresters and Outbacks). Then I talk to everyone I know who owns the said cars..we delve deeply into four feet snow drifts, sheet ice, plowing, winter, snow tires and AWD. The last time I bought a car, I drove my friend’s Forester up and down my long, steep and unplowed driveway.

Then I go online to check out models, dealers nearby and prices. I agonize some more.
Then I head for the Subaru dealer.

poofandmook's avatar

I knew what I wanted before I went. Every feature, the color, everything. I called different dealerships to find out if they had the exact vehicle I wanted, and made a list of the ones that did. I went to the first one, told the guy what I wanted, and if he screwed with me on the price, I said “suchandsuch dealer has this exact vehicle. I’m just going to head over there instead, thank you for your time.” Worked like a charm. If you’re set in what you want, it’s MUCH less likely that they’ll get you to spend extra money on things you don’t want because you’re impulse shopping. Do all the research beforehand. Preferably even go to a car show if you can.

augustlan's avatar

Edmunds.com and the like to research the cars I am considering. Then search online and in person for the one I’ve chosen, a quality used car most times.

jca's avatar

i just bought a 2008 honda civic. checked consumer reports, went online and looked at stuff. looked at us news and world reports and saw that civic was number 2 on the list for the year. honda fit was number 1. i went to nissan, test drove a few that got good ratings and were in my price range (under 20000). then went to honda and test drove civic. also went to costco auto program because i’m a costco member. the costco price was what the honda guy gave me, so i went with that car from that dealer. after that it was just picking a color (blue).

rowenaz's avatar

Decide what you are buying the car for. Long trips? Smooth rides” Pick up chicks? Need to look good at work? Go for lots of rides at dealerships without talking about money. I had my heart set on something ten years ago, and then when I test drove it – it was awful! Test driving is extremely important.

Then research at Edmunds and ConsumerReports. Get the info on how much every little thing cost. Build your car and price it online or using the consumer reports car pricing sheets. Then when you know what you want to buy, and you know what you want to pay, shop MULTIPLE DEALERSHIPS. Be prepared to walk out with out the car. They will call you and give you a better price. Learn to negotiate.

If you can’t, find someone who can, and have them help you.

MacBean's avatar

I decide how much I can spend. I pore over ads in the paper and watch for something sitting out by the road with a For Sale sign on it. When something matches my budget and is suitably ugly, I purchase. :D

nocountry2's avatar

Consumer reports, research, and cash only.

flameboi's avatar

For my “dream come true car”
Step 1: I saw it and thought “I’m gonna get it”
Step 2: Got the money
Step 3: Went to the delearship, I talked to the super hot salesgirl and asked her “Can I have it in black with tainted windows and a red lace in the roof? And do I have a discount if I pay in cash?” She looked at me with that “Dream on kid, dream on…” look in her eyes, she laughed and she said “Yes, why don’t you talk to you dad about it?”
Step 4: Went back to my car, got the backpack full of money from the trunk, walked to her desk and politelly said “I’m buying it only if I can take the car today with me” She just said “O.k. now, would you like a scoth while we count the money”
Step 5: A scotch and my best friend talking about life :)

gailcalled's avatar

@flameboi; wonderful story, but who wants tainted windows?

flameboi's avatar

I do!!! I have a little problem with sunlight

gailcalled's avatar

(I understand that, but what about infectious diseases)?

flameboi's avatar

I’m o.k. with those, but the anti-uv rays film is a must, is not that is super duper black, just a little bit

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I decide on the model and options I want, then call around to dealerships to find out if they have it, and what do they want for it. Don’t leave your number; get an answer here and now or move on. If you want to see the car, go on a Sunday, when the dealership is closed. Don’t even mention a trade-in until you nail them to a price.

Knotmyday's avatar

Hear about it> look it up on the internet> go to the dealership> test-drive it> go back home> look for the best deal on the internet> order it exactly the way I want it> wait for it> sign on the dotted line> drive it home.

And I taint my own windows, thank you very much.

gailcalled's avatar

@Knot: tank YOU very much..

Knotmyday's avatar

‘taint nothin’.

jca's avatar

yes, don’t tell them you’re trading in a car till you get a price.

also, if you don’t want dealer stickers on your car you have to specify. some dealers will put their name on your car if you don’t tell them not to.

scamp's avatar

How do you top a car?? tep on the brake tupid Groooooaaaaan!!

jca's avatar

flameboi: are tainted windows anything like tainted love?

boffin's avatar

Tainted?

jca's avatar

ask flameboi what tainted windows are.

gailcalled's avatar

Tainted now definitely becomes a classic, to add to uberbatman and corky.

poofandmook's avatar

I’ve got to… run away I’ve got to… get away from the pain you drive into the heart of me…

jballou's avatar

Best advice I’ve ever heard regarding purchasing a car:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPor5b7JLLE

XrayGirl's avatar

jballou…......that was a great video…thanks.

jca's avatar

poof: i’m sorry, i don’t pray that way.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

_
Pre owned, factory certified-with-warranty, 1–3 yrs old with clean CarFax report.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I did the absolutley stupid thing. I went to the dealer, specified colors and equipment and wrote a check. Probably paid about $10k too much, but when you’re in love and that’s what your lady wants…

Ltryptophan's avatar

This is a cool story about someone who became a car salesmen to get the insider knowledge. I thought it was gripping.

wallabies's avatar

I do a little research on makes and models before I meet anyone. I like to know what the common problems are with any given design, which helps me keep a lookout on potential problems with the cars I look at. I narrow down what I want so I am very clear what things are non negotiable and what things I am flexible about. When I meet people to test drive, I talk to the person that is selling it. Sometimes the deal is dead in my mind right here, but I always test drive it anyway. If the person seems good and I like what I’m seeing and driving, I buy. I love old cars and have had other priorities for my cash so I haven’t bought a new one before. If I ever do, it will be when I’m old and can’t do much else than drive, and it will be something seriously awesome like a Tesla.

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